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    Car Hire at Amsterdam Central Station - Exploring the Netherlands

    Amsterdam, one of the world’s great cultural capitals, is a picture-book city of cycles (of every description), cosy cafés and canals lined by charming terraced buildings. It’s an old place too, founded over a thousand years ago in a prime location at the mouth of the Amstel River. For art lovers, Amsterdam is as compelling as they come with world-renowned museums and galleries crammed with original works from the old masters, some of whom worked from studios in and around the city centre. The majority of visitors to Amsterdam arrive via Schiphol Airport located just 9 miles south-west of the city, having their onward journey swiftly facilitated by a stress-free 15-minute train ride to Amsterdam Central Station served by regular departures throughout the day.

    With its inviting red brick facade, Amsterdam Central Station is set on its own man-made island - the Stationseiland – in the River IJ (pronounced ‘eye’). Built in the Neo-Renaissance style, this magnificent international transport hub is a work of art originally designed to exemplify the very best of Dutch culture and celebrate the nation’s 19th-century economic renaissance. At the back of the building is a large mass of water that not only divides the city but provides plenty of opportunities for the many different types of leisure vessels navigating the city’s waterways. When the station was built, the River IJ used to be Amsterdam’s main thoroughfare to the sea, but the construction of a large dike in 1933 sheltered the area from the increasingly forceful tidal flows.

    From Amsterdam Central Station, most visitors (particularly first-timers) gravitate towards Dam Square, which was built in the 13th century to help prevent the area from being submerged by the sea. Now one of Amsterdam’s most popular places for a pre-dinner appetiser, the square is lined by many of the city’s top tourist attractions, including the Royal Palace, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and the National Monument dedicated to the victims of World War II.

    There’s an abundance of additional sights to see in Amsterdam, notably the Rijkmuseum (one of the world’s best) and the famous Van Gogh Museum which houses many of his most important works. Other don’t-miss attractions include the NEMO Science Museum (always a winner with the kids) and the House of Anne Frank, a poignant memorial to the young girl who defied the Nazis in a small house on Prinsengracht Street.

    Picking up a car hire at Amsterdam Central Train Station also gives visitors good access to some of the best day-trips available in other parts of the Netherlands, including the Hoge Veluwe National Park and the beautiful cities of Delft and Maastricht. More adventurous drivers will enjoy a leisurely trip across the country to the German border about 300 miles south-east of Amsterdam, or a slightly shorter ride to the Belgian border due south of the city.

    Auto Europe has been offering the best deals on car hire since 1954. There are several price comparison websites on the Internet nowadays but Auto Europe helps you find the cheapest rates and widest choice of vehicles in just a few clicks, whether its a Fiat 500 in Florence or a Lamborghini in London. Auto Europe works with all the world's top car hire suppliers, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Hertz, National and Sixt.

    For more information about how to rent a car at Amsterdam Central Train Station, please call our rental specialists on +441233225114 to finalise your booking or discuss your travel plans in more detail. Available seven days a week, they are there to help get you on the road and provide tips on getting around Amsterdam and other parts of the Netherlands by car. For more information, please consult our Driving in the Netherlands page for information about local age restrictions, driving distances, road rules, motorway tolls, etc. You can also check out the opinions of other travellers who recently experienced Auto Europe's products and services in the city by visiting our Amsterdam car hire reviews page.

    Station Information

    Catering for well over 1,500 trains and around 200,000 passengers every day, Amsterdam Central (officially Centraal) Station has dozens of direct connections from major cities all over Europe, including high-speed Thalys links from Paris, Brussels and Cologne. The station has 15 railway tracks, 11 of which run alongside a platform with both an A-side and B-side (except track 1). Opened in 1980, the station’s modern metro facility (also called Centraal Station) is the terminus of three routes - numbers 51 (Amsterdam Centraal - Isolatorweg), 53 (Amsterdam Centraal - Gaasperplas) and 54 (Amsterdam Centraal - Gein). Tram services at Amsterdam Centraal operate from two tram stations in Stationsplein (Station Square) situated in front of the main entrance. Tram routes 2, 11, 12, 13 and 17 serve the west side (Westzijde, Platform B) of the square, the other routes call on the east side (Oostzijde, Platform-A). Amsterdam Centraal’s main bus terminal is on the IJzijde (IJ side) of the station on the same level as the trains and close to the main taxi rank.

    Where to pick up my car hire at Amsterdam Central Station

    Most of the companies offering car hire at Amsterdam Central Train Station have their offices off-site, except Sixt which is close to the concourse and conveniently situated for travellers arriving from Amsterdam Airport and elsewhere. Additionally, Alamo and Enterprise are also located in close proximity to the station, within a short 5 to 10-minute walk once you have exited the train station. Travellers looking for the Sixt office should exit the train station and head towards the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel where they will find the Sixt office located right outside next to Starbucks. The Alamo office is located between the main entrance of Central Station (on the city side) and the NEMO Science Centre: just follow the Route Oosterdok signs. To pick up your car hire from Enterprise, keep walking past the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel on Oosterdoksstraat and you’ll find the office just down the road.

    Alamo Car Hire at Amsterdam Central Station Alamo at Amsterdam Central Station
    Harry Banninkstraat 129
    Amsterdam, Netherlands 1011 DD

    +31 20 740 1950
    Opening Hours:
    Daily 7am-7pm
    Enterprise Car Hire at Amsterdam Central Station Enterprise at Amsterdam Central Station
    Harry Banninkstraat 129
    Amsterdam, Netherlands 1011 DD

    +31 20 740 0950
    Opening Hours:
    Daily 7am-7pm
    Sixt Car Hire at Amsterdam Central Station Sixt at Amsterdam Central Station
    De Ruijterkade 44b
    Amsterdam, Netherlands 1012 AA

    +31 20 723 0526
    Opening Hours:
    Mon-Fri 6.30am-10pm
    Sat-Sun 8am-10pm

    Station facilities

    The station concourse has many shops and eateries as well as a supermarket, chemist, newsagent, several takeaway stalls, fast food restaurants (around 70 in total) and some very inviting bars and pubs offering travellers a chance to relax before or after a long trip. First-class and business travellers can take advantage of the extra comfort available in the NS Hispeed Lounge which is an oasis of peace and quiet in the heart of one of Europe's busiest railway stations. A left-luggage office is located in the eastern wing of the station, while anyone looking to change currency can do so at the GWK office. Underneath the bus terminal is the IJhal (IJ hall) where some of the station’s more upmarket boutiques are located, including Mango, Kiko, Swarovski, Hema, Victoria's Secret, etc. Nearly all the trams and buses operated by the local public transport operator GVB start or finish their journeys here at the station, as do many of the regional buses and most of the metro lines.

    How to get to and from Amsterdam Central station

    As Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport is located just 9 miles from Central Station, it couldn’t be quicker or easier to reach the city centre. Its close proximity means that it only takes around 15-25 minutes to get into town either by car or public transport, with direct trains between the airport and Central Station running every 10-15 minutes from early morning until late at night. The station not only has train services heading in all directions but it is also directly connected to Amsterdam’s bus, tram, metro and ferry services. Other stations around the periphery of the city include Sloterdijk, Lelylaan, Zuid, RAI, Muiderpoort, Bijlmer ArenA, Science Park, Holendrecht and Duivendrecht. By car, the station can easily be reached from Amsterdam Airport via the A4 motorway heading west in the direction of Centrum/Zaandam. Reaching Rotterdam The Hague Airport with your car rental at Amsterdam Central Train Station is equally straightforward by taking the A4 motorway.

    Parking tips

    Amsterdam is a relatively small but very busy city that attracts more than a million visiting car drivers every year. Parking spaces are in high demand, especially in the Centrum (historic centre), but they do exist so be patient and do plenty of planning ahead if you already know where you'll be going and when. There are plenty of Park+Ride (P+R) car parks around the city’s perimeter where you can leave your car and use Amsterdam's excellent public transport network to visit the many tourist attractions, including the Rijksmuseum, NEMO Science Museum and the House of Anne Frank. Despite being a little expensive, most on-street parking in Amsterdam is based on a digital payment system that requires an international credit card once you have entered your number plate into the parking meter (cash not accepted). There's also an abundance of secure 24-hour car parks located close to Amsterdam Central Station, most notably the P1 Parking Amsterdam Centre (Prins Hendrikkade 20A), Parking Garage Oosterdok (Oosterdokskade 154) and Q-Park Nieuwendijk (Nieuwezijds Kolk 18).

    Useful links

    Amsterdam Tourist Info

    Netherlands Tourist Info